It was pastor Charles Wagner, who was born in 1852 and died in 1918, a relentless advocate of liberal Protestantism, who decided to construct it. Theodore Roosevelt, the President of the United States had read one of the pastor’s books, La vie simple (Simple Life), and invited him to visit Washington, thus offering him great opportunities to do an evangelisation United States tour. The collected funds enabled to build the temple.
The building was modeled on the aesthetic of department stores, opting for space and light, with coloured window panes, small columns supporting a gallery, occupying the minimum of space. The Foyer de l’Âme was not meant to ‘look like a church’ while being modestly ceremonial to prove that it was open to free thinkers as well as to believers. The greeting at the entrance reads: ‘Here is taught humanity’.
The organ was confectioned by Cavaillé Coll. It was completed in 1907, and replaced in 2009 by a Blumenroeder organ, particularly well suited for Johann Sebastian Bach’s music.
Successors of Charles Wagner wished to have the massive pulpit and the Holy Communion table surrounded by a wooden fence. They also had a baptismal font, a lectern, and a Latin cross above the pulpit installed.
The Temple seats a large number of people sufficient for all those who came to listen to Wagner’s sermons.
This reformed parish of the Foyer de l’Ame (Home of Souls) has, since its origin, been a reformed liberal parish. In 2016 the parish joined the United Protestant Church of France.
The Protestant Temple du Foyer de l’Âme
7 Rue du Pasteur Wagner, 75011 Paris, France